Ethics and Integrity in Public Admin

Topics: Public administration, Management, Bureaucracy Pages: 12 (3852 words) Published: August 13, 2012


Ethics can be defined as a moral principle that control or influence a person’s behavior. Ethics refers to by which to evaluate behavior as good or bad and prescribe what humans ought to do. It is a continuous effort to make sure that people and the institutions they build live up to the standards that have been set. The basic promoter in ethics behavior is the law. However, the law is only a minimum standard for ethical conduct. Even an act is legal; it does not mean it is ethical. Nor is an illegal act necessarily immoral because sometimes it can be justified to break the law. Ethics is important in the public administration in order to make sure the government system run smoothly. If the public servant does not have an ethic, it shows that they lack in something morally while doing their work. ‘Ethics codes or codes of conduct seldom provide detailed and specific prohibitions. They are broader sets of principle that are designed to inform specific laws or government actions. When applied to certain classes of people such as public servants, codes are the ultimate terms of reference because they are the framework upon which professions are built’ (Stuart C. Gilman, 2005).

‘Integrity is the quality of being honest and having moral principles. In public administration integrity refers to the trustworthiness in the discharge of official duties and serving as an antithesis to corruption or in other does not receive bribery or corrupt. In United Nation own administration they defined integrity as including but not limited to probity, impartiality, fairness, honesty and truthfulness’ (Elia Armstrong, 2005). For instance in Malaysia, public servants must not accept anything from their fellow citizens in order to perform their duties thus making them confidence in themselves and in the public service as a whole. Without integrity the jobs they are doing or perform will not achieve the standards that the government has set.


Ethics in general is defined as ‘a set of principle prescribing a behaviour code that explains what is good and right, what is bad and wrong, it may even outline moral duty and obligation generally.(Hezam Mater,2002) Islamic Work Ethics may also be defined as the set of moral principles that distinguish what is right from what is wrong (Beekun, 1997) in the Islamic context. Ethics is a branch of philosophy which seeks to address morality. The concept of ethics in Islamic administration is quite different from that in Western world. In Islam, Islamic ethics means an integrated body of concepts about means and ends of human life, including administration. Thus, any organization can be judged on a conceptual continuation ranging from least Islamic to most Islamic. In Islam, ethics is not specifically for public administration only but it must be adopted as a whole in every aspect, either in human life or in administration. Work ethics in every aspect in human life is where the long term objective must be connected to the real long term objective, which is to worship to Allah and seek His pleasure. Islam has its own concept of ethics which derived from Al Quran and As Sunnah. As Sunnah are wordings, confession, and action by Prophet Muhammad SAW. According to Hezam Mater O. Al Mutairi, ethics in administration from Islamic perspective includes several features and guidelines, which are essential. One of the features is Islam and dominance of Shariah (Islamic Law). Shariah has no separation between ethics, morality and administration. All human activities, regardless of whether they are governmental, business and educational are subject to ethical judgement, as all human beings are ultimately accountable to Allah for their deeds. In order to make the administration become an...
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